Transferring work is a great toddler and preschooler activity for coordination, concentration and for building arm, hand and finger strength. It can work really well for children in the Transporting or Positioning Schemas. The best place to look for transferring ideas is in your kitchen drawer, you may have a lot of suitable materials already.
I like to have lots of different tools on hand so that I can rotate our transferring materials to keep the child's interest. Different transferring tools or even similar materials in different sizes can influence how your child uses the tools and carries out the work. If your child doesn't like using a spoon, how about using tongs, it's easy to switch it up.
It's also easy to order a transferring set and know you will have lots of good options all in one place! When deciding which tools to offer the child we may want to consider what transferring tools we already use as a family, what tools the child likes to use, the child's stage in development and the items the child might be transferring (size and texture can be important). Remember we can (and should) observe the child to see if the activity and tools are working for the child.
Ideas for transferring tools include various:
- measuring spoons
- slotted spoon
- soup spoon
- Chinese soup or wonton spoon
- melon baller
- pasta server spoons
- these come in lots of different sizes, try the tiny size for fine motor skill work
- water syringes
- wooden scoops
- cereal scoops
- ice cream scoop
- bamboo or 'toast' tongs
- ice or sugar tongs
- mini kitchen tongs
- salad server tongs
- meatball tongs
- bug catcher tongs
- fish tweezers (for getting out fish bones)
- large children's tweezers/jumbo tweezers
- cosmetic tweezers
- children's chopsticks
- chopstick cheaters
- chopstick helpers
- wire strainer or small sieves
- small 'tea' or 'pea' strainers
We can use transferring tools in:
- Montessori-style transferring trays.
- practical life kitchen activities, I like to add mini tongs to chopping activities, spooning ingredients, serving soups/salads/pastas etc.
- pet food containers - when feeding pets, topping up bird food.
- the bath - for water play, for example water transferring tools like a baster, pipettes.
- the water table.
- the sand table, sand pit.
- sensory trays if you use them.
Sensory Bin Scoops at Montessori ReStore
Baster, Wire Strainer, Small Pipette, Chinese Soup Spoon, Mini Ladle, Wooden Scoop, Mini Metal Tongs, Bamboo Tongs, Chopstick Helper.
- Transferring Ideas at Absorbent Minds Montessori.
- Montessori Activities - Transferring with Mini Tongs to Tweezers at How we Montessori.
- Water and Transfer Activities at Three Years at How we Montessori.